Vurnon Anita is fit again and starts tonight for Newcastle against Everton, and Shola Ameobi gets a start in place of Demba Ba.
With Demba Ba in discussion with Chelsea he has been withdrawn from the squad for tonight’s game with Everton – and he could have played his last game for Newcastle.
It looks like Newcastle will at least start with a variation of a 4-5-1 system and it could be that Shola is the man up front, and Mike Williamson returns in the center of defense, and as expected the reliable James Perch comes in for the injured Danny Simpson at right back.
We expect Papiss Cisse to play in the center and slightly behind Shola, so he can get the knock-ons and any loose balls that come his way in the box.
For Everton both Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines start the game – after being doubtful – and Marouane Fellaini also starts after serving his three match ban for violent conduct during the 1-1 draw at Stoke on 15th December.
Mathieu Debuchy is expected to watch this game in the stands, and he could even make his debut at Brighton on Saturday if things go as planned and he’s signed in the next couple of days.
Newcastle need to get all 3 points tonight – it’s as simple as that.
Howay The Lads!!
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; James Perch, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita; Papiss Cisse, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan; Shola Ameobi
Substitutes: Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Gael Bigirimana, Mehdi Abeid, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger
Everton (4-4-1-1): Tim Howard; Phil Jagielka, John Heitinga, Sylvain Distin, Leighton Baines; Steven Naismith, Phil Neville (c), Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar; Marouane Fellaini; Nikica Jelavic
Substitutes: Jan Mucha, Shane Duffy, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Bryan Oviedo, Magaye Gueye, Victor Anichebe, Apostolos Vellios
Referee: Martin Atkinson (Yorkshire)